In the conflict over the Polish import ban on Ukrainian grain, Poland’s head of government caused speculation with a statement about arms deliveries to Kiev. In an interview on the TV channel Polsat News, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki replied to the moderator’s question as to whether Poland would continue to support Ukraine with arms deliveries and humanitarian aid despite the grain dispute: “We are no longer supplying armaments to Ukraine, but are arming ourselves with the most modern weapons.”

Morawiecki continued that Poland has enormously expanded its orders for military equipment. “If you don’t want to defend yourself, you have to have something to defend yourself with – we adhere to this rule.” The armed forces should be modernized so that Poland will have one of the strongest land armies in Europe, said Morawiecki.

Context allows for different interpretation

While his first statement on armaments appeared to be clearly formulated, the context of the interview suggested that Morawiecki probably did not mean a complete stop to Polish arms deliveries to Kiev – rather, he seemed to emphasize that Poland was not only supplying arms to the neighboring country, but at the same time I am also upgrading my own army.

However, several Polish news portals, including the English-language service of the state news agency PAP, interpreted Morawiecki’s statement to mean that Poland would stop supplying weapons to Ukraine in light of the grain conflict. The Polish government has so far left a request from the German Press Agency for clarification unanswered.

City of Rzeszow as a “hub”

At another point in the interview, Morawiecki emphasized that the government in Warsaw would in no way endanger Ukraine’s security. “Our hub in Rzeszow will continue to play the same role as before and in the future in agreement with the Americans and NATO,” he assured. A large part of Western military aid for Ukraine in its defense against the aggressor Russia goes through the city of Rzeszow in southeastern Poland.

The EU and NATO country Poland is not only one of Ukraine’s most important political and military supporters. Since the Russian war of aggression began in February 2022, it has also taken in a large number of war refugees from the neighboring country.

FDP politician criticizes Ponic government

The foreign policy spokesman for the FDP parliamentary group, Ulrich Lechte, sharply criticized the Polish government for its statements about an end to arms deliveries to Ukraine. He accused Morawiecki of a political maneuver with which he wanted to score points in the current election campaign.

“It is a disgrace that Poland, a hitherto reliable partner, is now stopping military support for Ukraine and communicating this in this way,” said Lechte in Berlin. “Poland obviously wants to put pressure on Ukraine and the EU to find a solution for Ukrainian grain imports.” At the same time, this is “an election campaign strategy by the PiS government to distract attention from the visa affair.” Lechte: “Unfortunately, the Polish government is now deliberately carrying this out on the backs of Ukraine.”